97 episodes

Your weekly podcast for a world in flux.

Globalization and climate change. The rise of social media and the decline and fall of Blockbuster Video. AI and VR. Donald Trump and Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed.

Join Ben Charland as he peels back the headlines to ask, what are the events, characters, forces and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Who were those barbarians that took down the Blockbuster Empire? Just what on Earth is going on?

What on Earth is Going on? Ben Charland

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 6 Ratings

Your weekly podcast for a world in flux.

Globalization and climate change. The rise of social media and the decline and fall of Blockbuster Video. AI and VR. Donald Trump and Flat Earthers. The world is changing so fast that we can't get a grip on how we got here, let alone where we're headed.

Join Ben Charland as he peels back the headlines to ask, what are the events, characters, forces and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? Who were those barbarians that took down the Blockbuster Empire? Just what on Earth is going on?

    ...with Kingston WritersFest (Ep. 97)

    ...with Kingston WritersFest (Ep. 97)

    What makes a book interesting? Beautiful? Provocative? Necessary? Is reading still the best way to get a message across and tell a good story, and how is it changing in our world today?

    The Kingston WritersFest is one of Canada's premiere literary events, drawing headline international authors as well as big crowds from the bookish Ontario city. Ben chats with the festival's artistic director and alumnus of the podcast, Barbara Bell, about writing, reading, and what goes on in between.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    ...with Disability

    ...with Disability

    We will all encounter disability in our lives, either ourselves or someone we know and love. What is our responsibility when that happens? What role should the greater community play to provide care and support? What about government, public policy, and spending? What's changing when it comes to disability and how we care for those who truly need it, and why is this important?

    Ben has an enlightening conversation with Helen Ries, an Ottawa-based advocate with a powerful story of her and her brother Paul.

    • 50 min
    ...with Rebuilding Democracy

    ...with Rebuilding Democracy

    What if being a Member of Parliament or Congress had nothing to do with an election, but rather worked like jury duty? What if our officials were seated randomly in a legislature? What if we innovated the very idea of government itself?

    Dave Meslin says our politics is broken, but instead of repeating this from the sidelines, he's got 100 common-sense fixes. They are all detailed in his fascinating and provocative book, "Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up". Ben chats with Dave in Toronto.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    ...with Writing Biography

    ...with Writing Biography

    Rosemary Sullivan is an acclaimed Canadian poet and biographer. She has written definitive biographies about Elizabeth Smart and Gwendolyn MacEwen as well as a book about the early life of Margaret Atwood. In 2015, Rosemary published "Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva" to widespread praise.

    Ben sits down with Rosemary in Toronto to talk about what goes into making a biography (such as calling the CIA first), how she wrote "Stalin's Daughter", and much more.

    • 1 hr
    ...with Politics and its Future

    ...with Politics and its Future

    Kent Hehr is a former federal Liberal cabinet minister and member of parliament for Calgary Centre. As a so-called "recovering politician" with careers on both the federal and provincial levels, Kent has a lot to say about what on earth is going on -- but he’s also got an incredible story. In October 1991 he was with some friends in Calgary when someone in another car opened fire. The bullet went into Kent’s spine, and just like that, he was paralyzed from the chest down as a C5 quadriplegic.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    ...with Acting, Gaming and Creativity

    ...with Acting, Gaming and Creativity

    Aurora Browne is one of Canada's national treasures. Best known as one of the cast members of the Baroness von Sketch Show and as co-host of the Great Canadian Baking Show, Aurora has been creating daring, funny and original work for theatre, television and film for many years.

    Ben catches up with Aurora in Toronto to discuss her career as an actor and comedian, as well as her fascinating with the oceans, video games, clowning, and Dungeons & Dragons. Don't miss this wide-ranging conversation!

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Pedro the cactus 12345 ,

Great conversations and topics

Hosts are very interesting and have a lot to say. Definitely learned a good amount from the episode I listened to. Definitely check them out for current events and interesting discussions. -Austen

Dereleaked88 ,

The answer

What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast about current events and the world around us. However, what sets it apart from other current event or news content is that it goes directly to the source, specifically through conversation, analysis and interviews with the relevant individuals. This is better than talk radio. Give it a listen and subscribe!

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